CEO Q&A with Henry Lees-Buckley at Sativa Group (NEX:SATI)

Sativa Group (NEX:SATI) Chief Executive Officer Henry Lees-Buckley caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss the new appointments in the Group, the progress of the cannabis cultivation project and the company’s admission to AIM.

Q1: Henry, news out on some recent appointments, the first of which being a Product and Procurement Manager. Could you expand on that for us?

A1: Sativa Group is very excited to announce the appointment of Richard Bunce, this will, with Richard’s skill and experience, really take our product management capabilities to a whole new level.

His responsibilities will be to oversee our entire product range, that includes things like product quality, our product compliance, category management, the packaging of all of our products and, most importantly, the expansion of our product range.

So, our intention is to expand the products we offer to all of our customers through each and every brand we have so this is a Sativa-wide initiative, not related to any specific brand but to make sure the quality and compliance etc. is consistent across all of our brands and we’re able to expand our product range in a constituent manner.

So, very pleased to have him on board and he’s already making a big difference.

Q2: The second was for another significant appoint, Director of Retail Sales for Goodbody Botanicals. What’s the plan there?

A2: Goodbody Botanicals is our retail brand so our goal is simply to be the UK’s leading brand on the high street. So, our ambition is to have the Goodbody Botanicals brand available across a number of high street retailers across the UK as soon as we possibly can.

So, we announced earlier our partnership with SHS Distribution who will do our logistics and provide some sales support for us, top shelf firm, highly recognised and respected by all of the high street retailers. So, that was a huge appointment for us in terms of a partner.

Now, the appointment of Alan Horton as the Director of Retail Sales really helps us take this to the next level so we have somebody inside who is also equally focussed on this. Alan will be managing some of our sales team but will also have direct contact with those high street retailers in conjunction with SHS.

So, it’s really just adding some serious horsepower to our high street efforts, at the end of the day, we believe we have a great brand for the high street and now we’ve got a great team with both Alan and SHS really focussed on that effort.

Q3:  You also talk about the progress with the cannabis cultivation project, what can you tell us about that?

A3: Recently, we announced our Home Office licence, which is something we’re extremely proud of, very few companies in the UK have that Home Office Licence. That licence is to grow THC-rich medicinal cannabis, our cannabis product, for medicinal research so it’s really in conjunction with King’s College in London to help and aid their efforts and research.

We kicked that off, we got the Home Office licence and things are progressing very very well. The grow is going exactly as we expected and we’re very proud of the efforts the team has made there to provide King’s College with the product they need for research.

Q4: Just shifting gears, I see that you also plan to move Sativa Group to the London AIM market. How’s that progressing?

A4: Our aim is to definitely be on AIM and do so in the New Year. We’ve enjoyed a very good relationship with the NEX Exchange and we couldn’t thank them enough and we’ve done extremely well with that it.

We heard loud and clear from a number of institutional or intended institutional shareholders, some have the ability and desire to trade on NEX, others don’t, but the message was loud and clear that they’d like to see us on AIM so we’re certainly listening to that.

Quite frankly, that’s our plan. We’ve appointed Cenkos Securities to explore the admission, it’s never a guarantee but we certainly feel we have a very strong case and we’ll plan to work right now and seek admission to the London AIM market early in the New Year.

So, pretty excited about that focus so lots going on here.

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